NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 14, 2022

by | Dec 14, 2022 | News, NHL | 36 comments

Alex Ovechkin tallies his 800th career goal, Mitch Marner’s point streak continues, notable news from the latest Board of Governors meetings, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin joined Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe in the NHL’s 800-goal club in a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Ovechkin tallied a hat trick with the third goal reaching the milestone, finishing the night with four points as his Capitals improved to 15-12-4. Tyler Johnson scored for the Blackhawks (7-16-4) after missing 20 games with an ankle injury while teammate Petr Mrazek (23 saves) returned to the lineup after being sidelined for three games with a groin injury.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin was congratulated by Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews following the game. The Capitals superstar needs just two goals to surpass Howe (801) for second place on the all-time list. He’s currently 94 goals behind Gretzky.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his points streak to 23 games by collecting two assists in a 7-0 drubbing of the Anaheim Ducks. Alex Kerfoot scored two goals, Conor Timmins and Pontus Holmberg each collected three assists and Ilya Samsonov had a 28-save shutout for the Leafs (19-5-6) as they’ve gone 12-0-3 over their last 15 games. Ducks goaltender John Gibson left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury as his club fell to 7-20-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks forward Adam Henrique left in the first period after being struck in the face by a Mark Giordano shot but got stitched up and returned to finish the game.

The Edmonton Oilers rose to 17-13-0 on the season by defeating the Nashville Predators 6-3. Leon Draisaitl (five points), Connor McDavid (four points) and Zach Hyman (four points, including a hat trick) combined for 13 points, with McDavid extending his points streak to 10 games. Roman Josi collected two assists for the Predators, who drop to 12-12-3.

Shootout goals by Jake DeBrusk and David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the New York Islanders by a score of 4-3. DeBrusk also scored twice and collected an assist in regulation as the Bruins (23-4-1, 47 points) open a three-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for first place in the overall standings. Noah Dobson and Josh Bailey each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders (17-12-1), who’ve dropped five of their last seven games.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson made 40 saves to blank the Los Angeles Kings 6-0. Tage Thompson scored two goals and Dylan Cozens collected three assists for the Sabres (13-14-2) while the Kings drop to 15-12-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson joined Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bower as just the second goaltender in NHL history with a 40-save shutout at age 41 or older.

The Dallas Stars improved to 17-8-5 with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. Roope Hintz broke a 1-1 tie while Scott Wedgewood kicked out 35 shots. The Devils (21-6-2) have lost three games.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault scored two straight power-play goals in the third period as his club held off the Winnipeg Jets 6-5. Chandler Stephenson collected four assists for the 21-9-1 Golden Knights as they hold a four-point lead (43 points) over the Stars for first place in the Western Conference. Mark Scheifele picked up a hat trick for the 18-9-1 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights were without defenseman Shea Theodore and Zach Whitecloud. Theodore is week-to-week with a lower-body injury while Whitecloud (lower body) is month-to-month.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos extended his points streak to 14 games in a 6-2 win over the Seattle Kraken. Stamkos scored his 497th career goal, Nikita Kucherov collected three assists and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 shots for the Lightning (18-9-1) while the Kraken (16-9-3) have lost four of their last five contests.

The Colorado Avalanche held off the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2. Artturi Lekhonen and J.T. Compher each had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche improved to 15-10-2 while the Flyers (9-14-7) lost four straight games.

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Pyotr Kochetkov picked up his second straight shutout in a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Kochetkov made 27 stops while Brady Skjei scored in the first period as the Hurricanes rise to 16-6-6 while the Red Wings fall to 13-9-6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red wings captain Dylan Larkin injured his right hand blocking a shot and will miss Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.

The Florida Panthers downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 as Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season. Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists while Matthew Tkachuk scored and collected an assist for the Panthers (14-12-4). The Blue Jackets fell to 10-16-2.

San Jose Sharks forward Nick Bonino scored for the fourth straight game and added an assist in a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Karel Vejmelka stopped 30 shots for the 9-14-4 Coyotes while the Sharks improved to 10-16-5.


TSN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told reports the salary cap for 2023-24 is expected to rise by $1 million to $83 million following the second and final day of the league board of governors meetings. He said that figure was based on current revenue projections but didn’t rule out the possibility that revenue could exceed projections and the cap could be higher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players are still paying off their share of the debt incurred from shutting down the 2019-20 regular season due to COVID-19 followed by the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

Bettman indicated there would have to be a discussion with the NHL Players Association to amend the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding to increase the cap for next season beyond the agreed-upon rate of $1 million. Some observers believe the league is open to that but they’re waiting for the PA to approach them about it.

Bettman also said that there are more than a dozen potential buyers interested in purchasing the Ottawa Senators. He and deputy commissioner Bill Daly have met with actor Ryan Reynolds to discuss his interest in the franchise.

The commissioner said the league’s investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving Canada’s 2018 World Junior team is nearing completion. They are awaiting the results of the London, Ontario police investigation.

Bettman continues to have no interest in a change to the current playoff format that would allow for a four-team “play-in” round.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun conducted an informal poll of 12 NHL governors and they were unanimous in supporting a play-in round. However, they didn’t want to go on the record for fear of running afoul of Bettman. The commissioner considers expanding the playoff format as trying to fix a non-existent problem.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens winger Cole Caufield escaped serious injury from his collision with Calgary Flames forward Trevor Lewis on Monday. He traveled with the team to Ottawa and is expected to be in the lineup for tonight’s game with the Senators.

The Canadiens also revealed center Sean Monahan and defenseman David Savard will be sidelined for another two-three weeks.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry has been placed on the long-term injured reserve list with an undisclosed injury.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets claimed winger Karson Kuhlman off waivers from the Seattle Kraken.


  1. Congrats to Ovi

    Not been a fan of how much he gets away with penalty wise (constant hits to the numbers into the boards or elbows with no calls);and not a fan of him staying out while the net is empty AND team up many times by 2 goals, floating, just to get the EN gimme (staying out nigh 2 minutes to get two EN goals in the same game last week was a low point); and 20% (14/70) of his goals from last year and this year, are ENs

    That said…. Wow…. 800. Some absolutely spectacular goals. His one timers…. Wow. End to end rushes …. Wow

    Congrats Ovi…. Great job

    His countrymen did well in net last night…. 3 shutouts by Russian born goalies on the same night (Samsonov, Bobo, Kotchekov) was a rare gem

    Leafs… plugging away…. Great to see. Still need to improve IMHO, to get past Bolts and Bruins in playoffs.

    McD and Leon…. Ho hum nights…. 5 and 4 points respectively; another beauty goal by McD…. Yawn (said with massive sarcasm)

    • @Pengy
      Yes love Ovi overall but same issues..yet its similar with #87 who gets to be in face of the refs unlike anyone since #11 ;-0

      18% of his goals last season were empties….

      • Simple logic: when the other team pulls the goalie you WANT your best sniper on the ice. It’s been that way forever. Anything else is stupid. I imagine a lot of goals by the likes of Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, Jean Beliveau, Bobby Hull and, yes, Wayne Gretzky, were into an open net.

        And Gordie Howe wasn’t known as Mr. Elbows for nothing. Just ask Bobby Baun!

      • George and ds

        Your missing my point

        Being out there , EN, 1 goal game…. Best players… coach makes that choice

        Staying out there when team is up by 2; floating when there is an EN…. That is what I am uncomfortable with

        2 EN and staying out nigh 2 mins to get # 2 …. That’s what irks me

        If I’m a coach, I absolutely want my best players out with EN and 1 goal game

        Get an ENG, now up 2…. No need to have a payer stay out almost 2 minutes to go up by 3

        ds ….Crosby had 4 ENs (of 31) last year…. 12.9 %

        No challenge re Sid and his chats with the refs

        Ovi, on the other hand, just gets away with everything…. No need to talk up refs

        Last night he had an uncalled elbow

        They (refs) just seem almost afraid to call him on them

        George… re Howe and Elbows…. Certainly was…. I remember those …. But he often got called

        My point is Ovi gets away with penalties disproportionately

        We all agree… he can score, and in bunches

        I still stand firm, that he is not the best “sniper” of all time… that’s the late great Bossy

        Orr…. GOAT

      • great players will get away with BS.

        coach picks Ovie to protect a lead ;-0

      • Hi ds

        As I said, coach does pick Ovi to be out there…proper pick

        it’s Ovi’s choice to stay out 2 minutes in the hopes of another EN goal (to go up by 3 at that point)…, that’s my issue

      • Pengy, but clearly you’re OK with the Leafs piling it on a hapless last-place team merely to fatten their personal stats, even potting one with under 2 minutes to go?

        How is it any different?

      • George

        I am not good with the stat padding on Leafs either

        Where did you get the idea I was good with that

      • Had no idea – just that you made it plain about Ovechkin but made no mention about the Leafs running up the score. And, just for the record, I am not criticizing either Ovechkin OR the Leafs.

        I have always maintained that a team continues to score as and when they can. It’s not up to Ovechkin to hold back on an empty net – he didn’t tell the opposing coach to pull the goalie – and to score as often he can – just as it’s acceptable for a team to keep scoring.

        Same thing applies to college football when you see the Alabamas run up 60-0 scores. The opposition doesn’t like it? Too bad – do something to make your team better or, if you’re a non-conference team, don’t include scheduled games with a game-in game-out juggernaut.

      • Hi George

        No I’m totally against running up the score , with the exception of if it affects standings… cite CFL… if teams are tied in points … Head to head is one of the tie breakers… so if only playing twice, and they won by 25 in first game; and you’re ahead by 25 late in the fourth of the second game… go for it….. anything and everything can happen last minute in CFL

        None of the coaches (hockey) I had would ever allow a run up score

        Later when I coached, if we were up by 3 , less than 2 mins… regardless of EN or not….. I played my forwards as D and visa versa; and I would tell all the players that only 1 player max on other side of centre and only if puck was in the opposition end with at least 2 of their players in their own end

        To each his own…running up the score; floating; long shifts to pad stats with EN…. just not for me

  2. Re “ Bettman continues to have no interest in a change to the current playoff format that would allow for a four-team “play-in” round.”

    Right now 50% of teams make playoffs

    In the early80’s when I believe there were 21 teams ; 16 made the playoffs 16/21… 76%

    They could have top 6 in each Conf get a bye; 7v10; 8v9 in a best 2 of 3… or even a two game B2B home ‘n home total goals series…. OT only in second game if tied (higher ranked team gets choice of which of two games at their arena)

    That’s a minimum of extra 8 games playoff revenues and allows for those teams in a strong conference , that finish say 9th and 10th (but higher than otherConferences 6th, 7th, 8th) to make playoffs

    Just a thought Gary

    Oh, here’s another thought Gary…. Houston Yotes

    • Bettman says that digital dasherboard ad backlash is a “non-issue” because their polling indicates fans find games more watchable with those digital ads replacing physical ones.

      Dunno who he found to poll but would-be hockey fans are turning away from NHL hockey because the ads are too distracting.

      • I highly doubt attracting new young fans would be impacted by electric ads. They grew up with faces in devices that do the same thing every day.

      • JZ

        Gary counted his own vote, and asked his wife, Bill Daly and Daly’s wife…. 3 out of 4 agreed… case closed

      • That was a very succinct and effective rebuttal Chrisms. Who cares about the electronic boards, I don’t even notice them.

        I do care about the playoffs Pengy, and agree with Bettman that we don’t need a play in to include more teams. Yes teams want the revenue, but it diminishes the regular season even more. 82 games is a lot, and it should be meaningful. If more than half the teams get into a tourney, then the regular season doesn’t mean much. Everyone gets in unless you are totally brutal.

      • I don’t notice the board ads as well.
        As for the playoffs and including a play-in-round I’m against it. The Bettman point already has too much effect on the bottom teams.
        If the NHL changes anything I want it to be the point system and get rid of the shoutout. 3 pts for a win, 2 points for an OT win (Still played 3on3), and 1 point for a tie.

      • Agree about playoffs ray. Half the teams get in. That’s still too many.

      • Hi Ray

        Your point is very valid

        I just don’t like when tight teams are out (by perhaps just 1 point…. And who know ps that could have been a funky bounce goal against in a tie game, 3 seconds left in reg, in November) in a strong conference and weaker teams get in from the other conference

        I do see your points re making the playoffs appear less important with more teams in… there just needs to be a better way than it is now

        At the very least, the guaranteed “in” for top 3 per Div should be changed to 2…. Leaving the possibility for a strong Div to have 6 teams in

        Or better still… top 2 each Div, then next best 8 teams…. The playoff matchups can be worked out (there could be East/West series before SCF) … but that’s just logistics to work through

      • Well Pengy, you have to draw the line somewhere with regards to teams getting in. I also think that over 82 games the bad bounces, bad calls etc even out as the sample size is so large. And doesn’t it being close add to the intensity for the players and fans over the last part of the season?

        I get your point about weaker teams getting in over a team in in a different, more difficult division. But if you do that the schedule would need to be balanced where every team in the conference plays the same amount of games against each team in the conference. Which might already be happening, I actually do not know what the answer is to that?

      • Instead of a play in round the 4 highest non-playoff teams should play for draft picks 1-4. No tanking and middle of the road teams that have their sh!t together a bit get the extra talent they need to take the next step.

        As for OV, if he can do it then it’s an amazing achievement. I’m a fan of Gretzky and Lemieux though, first game I ever remember going to was 1987 Canada Cup at Copps Coliseum, Gretzky’s pass to Lemieux. Seems more amazing back then, but I was 10 years old. Don’t think I can be impartial comparing someone now to when I was a kid.

  3. @Pengy
    Yes love Ovi overall but same issues..yet its similar with #87 who gets to be in face of the refs unlike anyone since #11 ;-0

    18% of his goals last season were empties….

  4. OvI still behind Gretzky in en goals. Considering his style of play, Ovi has only had 1 season where he’s missed considerable time. That’s a feat in itself!

  5. Hey, every team gets in, makes it simple, start the playoffs after Christmas, done by June, followed by free agent frenzy.
    Easy peasy.

  6. What’s this? Owners have fear of running afoul of Bettman? Isn’t he their employee?
    This summarizes the problem these days that exists in the worlds of sports, business and politics. Fear must rule. Everything is run like organized crime syndicates.

    • Unfortunately they have to cow-tow to him

      8 BOGs can rule over 24… for ousting him… it’s (unbelievably so) in his contract

      There is at least 6 that will back him absolutely no matter how many times he screws up or bad decisions he makes

      Another 2 or 3 are basically all but full in on Bettman

      We’re stuck with him (dang) until he retires

  7. George O. on December 12, 2022 at 10:53 am
    Linking Chychrun to Toronto got me to wondering if the Leafs might eventually be looking to move a notable D themselves in the not too distant future.
    With young guys like Sandin and Liljegren not only gaining experience but, even more importantly, self-confidence, and prospects like Hollowell and Timmins more than holding their own when put into action (8 – 0 -1 since Rielly went down, including 2 shut-ours and 3 games giving up just one goal in each), could they possibly look into moving Rielly and his $7.5 mil cap hit?
    I know, he has a NMC but that’s been overcome before.
    Heresy to some, maybe, but man, that is a different-looking team out there the past month, and showing no signs of breaking down.

    I meant to comment on this script from Monday of this week ..
    I like Reilly , but I am on board with what you are saying .
    There is a Jeanie in a bottle as per Leafs defence over the last while , as per the salary cap , we might have to consider such a move to balance out the lineup …
    Leafs need some “grit” with skill level – preferably at left wing

    • Bertuzzi for Rielly
      You will have to wait till both are playing again tho 😉

      • How about Reilly for Horvat?

    • Ken, like I said at the time, that might sound like Heresy to some Leafs fans, but this wouldn’t be the first time that a team ran out some young guys night after night simply because they had no choice due to a string of injuries, only to have those players develop confidence in their game as they gain experience, and their teammates turn in solid two-way efforts to help ease the situation.

      That, in a nutshell, is the Leafs over the past few weeks. To me, they just look like a team on a mission as they work to help ease the pressure on Sandin, Liljegren, Hollowell and Timmins and, in turn, the kids are responding as they build self-confidence.

      Suddenly, other roster options open up.

      With Centers Norris and Stutzle out long term, along with Zub, Joseph, maybe Motte, and Bernard-Docker, I can only hope the replacements trotted out by Smith do half as well.

  8. Teams are, already, playing without a full roster because of lack of increase of the cap. If the cap doesn’t increase by a decent amount soon, players will be facing the risk of career ending and, potentially, life altering injury from simple exhaustion.

  9. agree with Bettman, no need to expand playoffs beyond 16. if you miss the playoffs, then do a better job on your roster to make the playoffs. typical greedy owners

  10. McDavid is on pace for 71 goals and 161pts. Wow we haven’t seen them numbers in a long time.

    last 70 goal scorer were Alex Mogilny 76 in 77gp and Teemu Selanne 76 goals in 84gp

    for you Pitt fans had 69 goals in 60 games that season. full season at that rate would’ve been 96.6 goals. In fact Mario averaged 2.67pts per game that season a pace that would’ve put him at 224pts at season end. He had to settle for a paltry 160pts that season to lead the league.

    • Yep Caper, McDavid will win a Richard Trophy one of these years, maybe even this year.

      He has been working on his shot for a couple years, I think he even spent time with Matthews this off season and picked up a few tricks. The goal he scored last night, looked like a Matthews type goal.

      He wasn’t even taking that shot much earlier in his career.

    • Watched the Oilers Game last night😳

      When McDavid decides to go end to end he is unstoppable
      Happy to see him shoot the puck More this year at last ❗️ Ever one has been telling him this for the past 3-4 years, Shoot

      Last night the Oilers players did not even follow past the centre line… as he went flying past all the Nashville players and scored…..
      He could probley do this 3 times a Game….

      The Most goals Scored in a Season was by The Great one @ 92 goals & 87 Goals wonder is Mcdavid can beat that…
      if Leon and him play the Whole year together…⁉️❓

  11. Mario was & still is my favorite player of all time.

    I know no one cares but, just had to say it.

    • He was a wonder to watch

      I just can’t place him ahead of Orr

      For me in order

      4, 99, 66